The Buddhist Sutra of Being Human

The Sutra of Being Human


by Leo Rivers


- A short conversation about the founding sutra of the yoga masters of Buddhist Meditation and being human.



What does the Samdhinirmocana-sutra say?


The Sutra says that the Ultimate is non-dual. 


The Sutra says that the Ultimate Reality and our fictional little point of view are non-dual, not 2 different things. Yes, we can think about the Ultimate, even though we can't make it an object of the conversation of our thoughts in any form in which it resembles itself. Or more accurately, while the Ultimate can be a target of our curiosity, the Ultimate we conceive of arising in our mind only arises as a fictional version of itself or an impostor when we think about it. It will be a manifestation of our Conception Only.


The Samdhinirmocana-sutra says that the Ultimate transcends all argumentation. 


This is not difficult to understand. Our understanding breaks up our experience into pieces like the different moving parts in a machine. This machine is a model in our Mind Only. We can argue with other how those parts fit together in that model. We cannot argue or reason about something that is not made of parts or is not an object that is a part inside our experience.


The Samdhinirmocana-sutra says that ultimately the Ultimate transcends both sameness and difference.


But let’s sneak up on the Beast of the Unimaginable in this way.


Did you suffer or were you afraid before you were conceived?


Be mindful. The universe itself is only a fiction and an impostor in our mind. Reality is not the universe we think of as a place full of stars and cold empty space. No atom knows what it is a part of. No meteor mourns that it has fallen into something someone thinks of a a sky and is burning up.  Reality it is the Fact of Reality and is not approachable  Yet Reality is not something other than the ground of what we are!


After we were conceived and the fusion of our male seed and female egg became a zygote - at some point this growing bundle of cells embodies a new biological momentum in which an individual person has begun. The bundle of cells has turned in to a person. And you are now a person who doesn't remember those weeks long ago in which, as a baby, you struggling to discover a Self in your divergent parts, your fingers and your toes and your arms and legs and such.


You became a separate creature from the world in those weeks in your mind. But there has never been and never will be a you separate from Reality.


When you die Reality will not be an ocean diminished by one drop. 


If you die of natural causes you will feel your 5 senses and your sense of consciousness separate as if in the movie in which a cake is made by mixing eggs and flour and sugar and butter together and baked was reversed and you saw the cake turned back into the separate elements of its recipe.


During this process of death your will experience yourself as a tide going out of 6 different fjords back out into the ocean, ebbing, ebbing, ebbing until their 6 separate riverbeds are dry. Your eyes will grow dim, and your ears will no longer be able to hear, your fingers and toes, and then your and your arms and legs will grow weaker and weaker and your hands and feet will grow numb. Just as, in the womb, your various elements came together like ships converging into a harbor at dawn, having sailed into that harbor from different countries, those 6 ships will sail back out from that harbor of your fading awareness over the horizon as the sun of your life sets and you die and are dead.


Your own Reality as a personality is like the rules of chess. They are good rules and you can play many games with those rules. Yet even the chessboard does not belong to the rules of chess! You can play checkers on those chess boards. They are only called chess boards by a habit of speech. You can play other games on chess boards. Life is like that.


Just because your personality is only a set of rules that you play on the chessboard of a human life, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t want to play well. It doesn’t mean that you reject the chessboard as not pleasing you in some way. But you have to understand that if you play by cheating or you play to hurt the other people by winning at some make believe game you are creating real pain in them and creating real non-virtue, brick by brick, as the floor of your personal character!


This is the way personal character is built - intentional deed by intentional deed. YOU choose whether the lay white stones or lay black stones in the floor of your personal character, the floor upon which the house of your naturally arising conduct is established.


Still, you are a fiction , even though you have never been separated by one at home or one moment from Reality.


This is why behaving badly and behaving selflessly is such a terrible waste! We have the creative freedom to take control of our own fiction, and yet we mean-spiritedly and self-centeredly spend our freedom on what cannot be grasped much held onto after we die. At no point will we add one dot to Reality.


As you know, modern computers are very powerful and they can be taught to write programs. Those programs that they write are make-believe systems of language, (vocabulary, syntax and such), in the electric memory of those computers. We can then program those computers to function like minds and make war-games and go to war in the make-believe world that these computers process.


Would you think that two computer programmers who play war-games on a computer would like it very much if that a war-game played resulted in the loser being taken out and shot to death?


That would be madness! Yet the systems of nations that we have created over the centuries are no different in essence or deeper in actual Reality then the different sides and rules of the war-games created by a computer.


Economic corporations and social corporations are like the fictional inhabitants that are only ongoing processes inside a computer. They are fictions created by fictions.


For thousands of years nations have been created by short-lived human personalities. Nations are nothing more than fictitious-persons. And so-called Leaders, struggling for the paper-immortality of Fame have encouraged such nations to enslave and slaughter other human beings - all for the glory of make-believe corporate personhoods that come and go like clouds coming together in the sky to make the forms of fictional circus animals only to be torn apart by the wind and destroyed in the space of an afternoon.


And all of this folly has never been separate from Reality by one atom or for one moment.


The only place where all of this fiction and all of that Reality is pinched together is in the ongoing moment of the ‘here and now’ experience that constitutes the One-taste of Being in a human awareness.


All kindness and all evil is created in this one crossroads of the two intersecting lines of space and time right where you Live.


Both the realization of a Buddha and that place to which a bodhisattva goes by following in the Buddha's footsteps is the non-duality of the Ultimate and the constructed, the non-duality of Nirvana and Samsara.


This is a profound truth so deep in the ocean of truth that the light of dualistic reason fails to reach its depths by argumentation. No wave plunged to the belly of the Mother of all Seas - the Depths of Reality.


Seated in the yogic masters’ mindfulness of the ‘here and now’ moment of intentional awareness, you are confronted by an Ultimate that transcends both sameness or difference.


Know that you will die. (Birth is the cause of death.) Whatever is pulled together by karma driven causes and conditions over the horizon and into the embodiment of that unique incarnation that you know is Yourself will be scattered like leaves from the tree by the wind by your death. Look into the mirror at death standing behind you and taste life like a copper penny on your tongue.


Then choose to be kind.



Leo Rivers, the Garage House, Cottage Grove, Oregon, Wednesday, June 6, 2012 5:58:20 PM


 © Leo Rivers 2013